Foreclosure: how to see the house?


I’m learning the foreclosure auction process here in MI. I have the list from the courthouse sent to meet weekly. I know how to reference and determine the loan amount, etc. I know how to check for addititional liens on the title. I’m attending my first aution Tuesday to see how this whole process works. Some additional questions for those with some experience:

  1. How do you see the inside of the home before you buy, or do you just do an estimate of the repairs? What if it looks good on the outside but has mold, etc on the inside?

  2. What else should I be thinking about that I havent mentioned?

  3. How do I take possesion of the house?


Howdy Mrmojom3:

What size shoes do you wear? I would use Cowboy boots if you live in Texas. If it is unlocked then go in after knocking on the door. If it has boards on the windows then use a screw gun. I have gone into hundreds of homes before and after foreclosure. Get permission if you can from agent or owner. If not just go in and look around and leave it the way you found it. Do not do any damage like breaking glass etc.

Just kidding about the boots.

One you own it by getting a deed at the sale then it is up to you to get possession. If occupied you may have to evict. If locked and vacant you can do whatever. Break glass or kick down the door with them size 12’s. it is yours to get into as long as it is not occupied then the tenants have rights to possession until they move.


Hi: I would be curious to know where in Michigan you reside. I have bought several at auction and have learned something from each auction.

I’m in RO, Oakland County.

So after I “close” on the house what is the process to get the tenants out of “my” house? All of the properties I’ve been researching have existing owner\tenant living in the home.


Howdy mrmojom3:

I would start with a letter stating that you have bought the house and want the tenant or owner to vacate asap. A personal visit may be in order also but not necessary. You could go ahead and send a 30 demand letter along with the nice letter demanding they vacate or you will file an eviction process. They need to be given a 30 day notice at least here in Texas and it could be longer in some states. You do not have a lease with them so you can not evict for non payment of rent and use the 3 day eviction time. Most owners and tenants will move before the end of 30 days and if not you have to go to the justice of the peace office and file the papers to start an eviction lawsuit. It costs $65 here in Travis and Bell counties I believe. After the constable has served the lawsuit notice they will have 7 days I believe to respond to the court or you may set a hearing for a default judgment and then they have more time to appeal the ruling and pay a bond to have a new hearing with a higher court. After this time expires I believe 5 days you can pay more money and actually hire the constable to supervise your setting their belongings out beside the curb and you get to change the locks. If they break in or come back on the property you may call the police and have them removed.

I hope this helps some. I have been all the way thru this with a trial by jury and actually lost the case the first time and I got the sellers name on the deed and bought the note prior to foreclosure as well. The jury believed the tenant because he had a fake receipt from the previous owner. He lost the second round but cost me over a grand.

This is why you need a large profit margin when bidding in these deals

LOL and hope this helps

At the sale you get the deed and are the owner of the property, but you do not yet have possession. In MI there is usually a 6 month redemption period in which the occupant may continue to reside at the property, and has the right to sell the property to a third party, or if they win the lottery can pay off the bank or buyer at the sale. If they vacate, the redemption period is only 30 days. In certian cases the redemption period can be as much as 12 months–over 3 acres of land or the mortgagor has high equity (not sure the exact amount).

Howdy All:

Good point Kim. I did forget about the right of redemption in other states. Owners only have these rights on tax foreclosures in Texas.


Wow guys, thanks for the info. Looks like I have much more to learn before I plop down some big bucks on a foreclosed home.

Who do you suggest I speak with to get the facts on the process in the state of Michigan?

Thanks again.

Go to REIA meetings, many people who attend have purchased foreclosures. Go to the auctions to learn the process, not necessarily to buy the first time! Talk to people there, you may find someone there willing to share their knowledge. It sounds like bjsept23 has some experience–contact him/her!

Hi People;
One more thing that I didn`t see on these responces!
If you purchase a home on auction with someone living in the home,take someone with you for a witness as to the condition of your property! If not,take a camera or video recorder! The tenants become hostal when they are told to leave. I have known of those who were out large $ for rehab after the occupants left. Just a thought!

The only thing I’d add, if you go to the current tennant, and offer them a little cash (i’ve done $500-1000) if they leave the property, and in good condition. If they balk, explain the local eviction process, explain that they will get NOTHING. They are gonna move, one way or the other. It can save you some legal fees, and a lot of rehab cost.

Good Luck

BW1411 has the right idea. You can try and evict them after the six month redemption period ( in Michigan) and they could trash your place, or try the better approach. Give them $500 to get out and leave the place in good condition, after you explain they’re being evicted one way or the other. It’s just your way, they get something for nothing. It’s really a lot easier!

Regarding foreclosure, pre-foreclosure, etc. I suggest everyone go to their local real estate investor’s association meetings, go to some seminars (there’s the MI Real estate Investors Conference in late April) and get education on how to do the process. Should you try and kick an owner out before the redumption period, I hate to see what would happen to you in the court system! Again, get educated before you try any real estate approach or you may lose a ton of money!